The IBM-developed OpenPOWER Foundation is now a hosted project within The Linux Foundation in order better support software and hardware across hybrid cloud environments and data centers.
The new Linux Foundation project includes IBM's OpenPOWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and contributed Source Design Implementations that are needed to support data driven hardware for workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI.)
“The OpenPOWER community has been doing critical work to support the increasing demands of enterprises that are using big data for AI and machine learning workloads. The move to bring these efforts together with the worldwide ecosystem of open source developers across projects at The Linux Foundation will unleash a new level of innovation by giving developers everywhere more access to the tools and technologies that will define the next generation of POWER architecture,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, in a statement.
OpenPOWER is the open steward for IBM's Power Architecture and has the support of 350 members, including IBM, Google, Inspur Power Systems, Yadro, Hitachi, Wistron, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Red Hat. The OpenPOWER Foundation was created in 2013 to promote open standards and specifications of systems designed around the IBM POWER architecture.
With the increased demand for compute-intensive workloads, such as AI and in-memory analytics, commodity system vendors are working to improve performance while also running up against the end of Moore's Law.
With central processing units (CPUs) struggling to meet the rising demands, data-centric systems are being built to maximize the flow of data between CPUs and attached devices for specialized workloads. By hosting OpenPOWER, The Linux Foundation hopes to accelerate the development of hardware and software to support data-centric systems by making it available to a wider audience.
"IBM believes that open collaboration through groups like Linux Foundation is key to delivering value for our clients,” said IBM’s OpenPOWER General Manager Ken King, in a statement. “With our recent Red Hat acquisition and today’s announcement, IBM becomes the only commercially-available processor vendor, and POWER becomes the only architecture that can boast of a completely open system stack, from the foundation of the hardware through the software stack."